Tesla – the company that made electric vehicles sexy for the first time – just announced that they’re on track to get the first Model S sedans on the road next summer. While talking to Autoblog at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Tesla Motors vice president of communications, Ricardo Reyes, said that they are finishing up their final preparations to release the cars in the U.S. by the summer and to the rest of the world about six months after that. Tesla is offering an impressive range selection for the Model S — 160, 230 or 300 miles depending on the cash you shell out — and they’re planning to build a “supercharging network” that will charge their vehicles from 10% to 90% in just 45 minutes. In addition to opening up the roads to all-electric, zero-emissions long-distance road trips Tesla will be unveiling the look of their new Model X — a seven passenger crossover SUV — in February.
Though excitement about the two new models reigned, Reyes did not forget to bow to the original beauty that allows his company to keep making headlines and racking up sales. “We are here because of the Roadster,” Reyes told Autoblog. “Because the Roadster so quickly changed everyone’s viewpoint on what an electric vehicle could be, an electric car became desirable.” He noted that the Model X will follow the same styling guidelines as the Model S.
The Roadster attracted the eyes of environmentalists and car enthusiasts alike with its sexy styling and high tech engine and now the Model S is getting the spotlight, but it owes a lot of its stardom to the vehicle that came before it. Reyes knows that now the company is on a mission with the Model S as their new star – the Roadster, after all, was meant to be produced in limited numbers. “From the beginning, the Roadster was conceived as a limited production vehicle. Our original agreement with Lotus was for a glider run of 2,400 vehicles. Due to continued demand, we increased production into 2012 for a total run of 2,500. We decided to continue offering Roadsters in the markets outside the United States where Model S deliveries start later,” he told Autoblog in an e-mail.
As for the Model S, pricing while taking into account the federal tax credit will start at $57,400 for the 160 mile version, the 230-mile variant will be $67,400, the 300-mile version will be $77,400 and they’ll also have a $87,400 Perfomance model that has the same battery as the 300-mile version. Tesla is also laying out their plans for this mysterious “supercharging network” that will entirely take away the range anxiety for long road trips — as if their lengthy battery range isn’t enough. Reyes says they’d need a mere 30 supercharging stations to get their drivers safely up and down the coastlines and that each station costs less than a gas station to install. Only the 230-mile version and the 300-mile version will be able to supercharge, however. “Suddenly, the whole ‘I can’t take road trips,’ and range anxiety and all these red herring arguments are essentially obliterated at that point,” Reyes told Autoblog. Sounds like the good kind of obliteration to us.